The Moving Energy Initiative, a Chatham House project, seeks to increase knowledge about the current energy situation in the displaced context. As part of that remit is raising awareness the impact of new technologies have on the lives of displaced populations. On Tuesday, 3rd of October 2019, Chatham House, under the direction of Owen Grafham from the Moving Energy Initiative, invited HEED project’s co-investigator, Professor Elena Gaura, to be part of a panel discussion on ‘Refugees and Technology’. On the panel, alongside Elena, were Jenny Casswell, from Mobile for Humanitarian Innovation, GSMA, and Moulid Hujale, Humanitarian Journalist and Digital Producer.
The panel addressed how refugees are informing technological innovations that reflect lived practices and ways to develop best practice to safeguard refugees when using technology, such as algorithmic bias, violations of privacy and data breaches. Elena, along with the other panellists, also emphasised how important it is to give refugees a platform to engage with and understand new technology that improves energy sources as it assists with community cohesion and develops livelihood opportunities.
The Moving Energy Initiative is working with the UK Department for International Development (DFID), Energy 4 Impact, and a consortium of other expert organisations. The project has a range of initiatives, including the publication of a global level report, Heat, Light and Power for Refugees: Saving Lives, Reducing Costs, and pilot projects in Jordan, Kenya and Burkina Faso.